When your alumni and friends think of social opportunities and connections with the university, many of them will think of athletic events. This desire to connect is most apparent during the fiercely competitive sports seasons—football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, and many more—when alums gather together to watch their alma mater compete in bowl or tournament games. The opportunity to see one’s alma mater on national television, and perhaps even featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter, drives an immense amount of pride.
“Athletics is the front porch of the university,” one donor couple told us. “When we do well in athletics—field hockey, football, basketball, etc.—we become recognized on the national stage. Then we have a national platform to talk about the great research we are doing.”
Similarly, athletics can be a front porch for philanthropy. Athletics provides a tremendous opportunity to engage loyal donors in deeper conversations about personal passions and meaningful ways to make a lasting impact on students’ lives.
This donor couple quoted above recognizes that athletics is a very important part of the university experience for student-athletes. They also recognize that, because the vast majority of college athletes will go on to careers in non-athletic fields, academic support and professional opportunities for these students are even more critical. Through the couple’s interest in athletics, they were connected with a philanthropic passion: helping student-athletes through scholarship support.
No matter whether you are planning, executing or closing out a campaign, athletics gives you a powerful and easy way to link alums' pride for the university’s sporting excellence to meaningful philanthropic causes. A moving video showcasing the achievements, team spirit and passion of your athletics department is a powerful way to begin a dialogue with athletics-minded donors like this couple. (See the video below, created for Arizona State University). The pride evoked by a compelling video opens the door to deeper connection. How will you help your university’s athletics donors become engaged in a more meaningful way?
Produced for the Campaign ASU 2020 launch event, this video segment was designed to illustrate one of the key campaign objectives: Drive Sun Devil Competitiveness. The sense of energy and excitement captured by this video focuses on the drive, determination, perseverance, and fierce competitive spirit of ASU student athletes.